§ Lord Laird
asked the Chairman of Committees:
Whether all items of historic interest either stored or displayed in the Palace of Westminster are in the best possible circumstances for their preservation. [HL1257]
§ The Chairman of Committees (Lord Tordoff)
The phrase "items of historic interest" covers a very wide range of objects, and it is impossible to answer the noble Lord's question exhaustively. Works of art are cared for by the curator and his staff. However, the Palace of Westminster is a working building and therefore cannot offer the ideal conditions, entailing strict control of temperature, humidity and light, that are to be found in some museums or art galleries. Frescoes are intrinsically part of the fabric of the building and are subject to variations of dryness or moisture, as well as some movement. Much historic furniture and silver is in daily use within the Palace and is inevitably subject to wear and tear.